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YANKTON, South Dakota - The kids are very definitely alright. With world titles on the line, the home team delivered in the first two days of competition at the World Archery Youth Championships, clinching two new world records, two bronze medals and a berth to a gold medal final in just 48 hours. With four days remaining in the competition, Team USA is performing at the top of its game.
Paige Pearce, Danielle Reynolds and Emily Fischer got their home soil World Archery Youth Championships off to a good start - and they were joined shortly by cadet standouts Dahlia Crook, Breanna Theodore and Cassidy Cox.
The trio of Pearce, Reynolds and Fischer all landed in the top 12 in individual qualifications, and combined set a new world record for the compound junior women's team ranking round at 50-meters. Their individual totals of 683, 681 and 677 made a team total of 2041.
It was a whopping 24 points more than the previous world-best mark. The outgoing record of 2017 was shot six years ago at the last World Archery Youth Championships to be held in the USA, when the event visited Odgen, Utah.
The compound cadet women, not to be outdone, smashed that world record by an even bigger margin: 36 points. With their team qualification score of 2006 points, Crook, Theodore and Cox outshot the original record of 1970, set by Denmark - and the second place score of Mexico, at 1985 points.
Team USA's strong qualification performances put the team in good standing for individual elimination rounds, as well as the mixed team competition.
While just two individual elimination matches were shot today - the mixed team elimination rounds ran straight through the bronze medal finals, where Team USA soaked up the home-court advantage.
The recurve cadet mixed team of Ryan Oliver - celebrating his 16th birthday today - and Eliana Claps delivered Team USA's first medal of the Championships, thanks to strong performances throughout their matches today. Though they were edged out in the semifinals by Korea, they came out swinging in the bronze medal match versus a tough team from Brazil - featuring World Cup Final silver medalist Marcus D'Almeida - and USA took the win, 5-3.
Danielle Reynolds and Chris Bee, shooting in the compound junior mixed team event, was equally strong. Stopped by just a single point in their semifinal match against Denmark, Bee and Reynolds refocused quickly enough to emerge with a bronze medal win versus Great Britain. The team shot a solid 151 points out of a possible 160 to take the hardware.
Once again, the cadets were not to be outdone: the compound cadet mixed team of Dahlia Crook and Dane Johnson pulled out non-stop victories throughout their matches today, finishing their semifinal with a decisive 143-137 win over the team from South Africa. They'll compete for the gold medal versus Mexico on Saturday morning.
Competition continues on Thursday with individual eliminations through semifinals, and on Friday with the team competition through the bronze medal matches. Compound archers will compete in their finals on Saturday, while recurvers will shoot for world titles on Sunday.
World Archery Communications contributed to this article.
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